Capital improvements that would quickly pay for themselves in energy savings touted to Meredith board

  • Published in Local News

MEREDITH  — Ken Colburn, chairman of the Energy Committee, told the Board of Selectmen "there are significant and calculable savings in energy costs" within reach at a workshop yesterday.

Since the committee was established in 2010, Colburn said it has undertaken a number of projects that have either introduce or identified energy efficiencies. Lighting upgrades at the Town Hall Annex and Water Treatment Plant in 2011 and similar measures at the Department of Public Works ...

MEREDITH  — Ken Colburn, chairman of the Energy Committee, told the Board of Selectmen "there are significant and calculable savings in energy costs" within reach at a workshop yesterday.

Since the committee was established in 2010, Colburn said it has undertaken a number of projects that have either introduce or identified energy efficiencies. Lighting upgrades at the Town Hall Annex and Water Treatment Plant in 2011 and similar measures at the Department of Public Works garage, Recycling Center and Meredith Center Fire Station scheduled for this year are projected to save $8,149 annually.

Energy audits of five municipal buildings — DPW, Library, Town Hall Annex and Water Treatment Plant — recommended capital improvements to conserve energy and trim costs.

Clay Mitchell of the Sustainable Development and Energy Systems Group, LLC of Dover, who is working with the committee on an energy handbook to be released later this month, explained that in a short period of time the savings in energy costs would exceed the cost of the capital improvements.

For instance, Mitchell distributed a schedule demonstrating that an investment of $30,677 in the Town Hall Annex, by 2019 would yield $38,618 in lower energy costs, a return of 26-percent. Colburn suggested that the savings could capitalize a revolving loan fund to finance improvements at municipal buildings without burdening property taxpayers.

"We might have hit a home run here," said Selectman Peter Brothers, who encouraged the Energy Committee to incorporate its recommendations in the update of the Master Plan.

NOTE: After serving on the Board of Selectmen for six years, Miller Lovett was elected chairman for the first time last night, edging Peter Brothers on a three-to-two vote.  Nate Torr, who nominated Lovett for the chairmanship, joined newcomer Carla Horne and Lovett himself in the majority.